As Director of Administration at Girl Scouts of the USA, Lynn Cothren coordinates, advances, facilitates and serves as one of Girl Scouts' key staff members, playing a leadership role in organizing and implementing its programs and activities. Prior to his current position, Cothren served for 23-years as Special Assistant to the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Founder of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, GA.
A well known Human Rights Activist in his own right, Cothren conceived and organized the successful protests against discrimination, based on sexual orientation at Cracker Barrel Restaurants, and many other campaigns for human rights. He served as a Board Member for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and at the Atlanta Lambda Center. Cothren is Founder of the Advisory Board of the Georgia Equality Project, and was a member of the Class of 2003 American Institute for Managing Diversity. He has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Fund for Southern Communities, which annually disperses more than 700,000.00 in grants to human rights groups in the southeastern U.S.
A former vice-chair, co-chair and 2003 Grand Marshall of the Atlanta Pride Committee, Cothren has been credited as the driving force that increased Atlanta Gay Pride's turnout from 5,000 participants in the late 1980s, to more than 320,000 participants in 1997. He has appeared as a spokesperson for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender (GLBT) and Civil Rights on Larry King, Oprah and ABC's 20/20, and interviewed with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Genre Magazine.
Cothren served as a convener and Program Chair of the 40th Anniversary March in Washington, DC, commemorating the 1963 Great March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' Speech.' He was Recipient of the 2005 ACLU Georgia and Bee Rich Wolf Award, and in 2006 a Judge Public and Community Service Emmy Awards. He is a Speaker on Diversity and Nonviolence.
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Diversity TV: Interview with Lynn Cothren,
Mrs. Coretta Scott King's Gay White "Son"
By Herndon Davis
April 4, 2008 will mark the 40th Anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For nearly 50 years until her death in 2006, Dr. King's widow, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, dedicated the remainder of her life to keeping Dr. King's dream and legacy alive. During her lifetime she became a very vocal advocate for LGBT rights and on many occasions compared the 1960's civil rights struggle to the current day struggle for LGBT rights. But there was another man in Mrs. King's life who wielded enormous power and influence but from behind the scenes as her personal assistant. This man was Lynn Cothren, a white openly gay and then a teenager from Tennessee who eventually worked for over 23 years at the foot of Mrs. King learning and applying the principles of Kingian Nonviolence.
During an hour long, on-camera interview, Cothren states that he and Mrs. King were like "peas and carrots" they just went together although many people around them never really understood their relationship. Cothren also went into great detail of how he was able to utilize his civil rights knowledge towards the concerns of the LGBT community.
The infamous Cracker Barrel controversy of the 1990's where a Georgia based lesbian was fired for being perceived as gay was just one of the instances where Cothren was able to apply his skills and first hand knowledge of civil rights for the benefit of the LGBT community.
Further, Cothren also described a few times when he experienced tension from black supporters of Mrs. King who felt that it was inappropriate for her to travel with a gay white man at her side. But true to form Mrs. King would often state "I know what I need" in defense of Cothren and of her support of the LGBT community.
Watch my exclusive TV interview with Lynn Cothren here!!
(c) Herndon Davis, All Rights Reserved
Article provided by GayLinkContent.com. For more information, contact us
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TOPICS AND PROGRAMS
Here are a few of requested topics for lectures, programs and keynote speeches
• Coretta Scott King -- Her Life & Legacy
• The Philosophy & Strategies of Non-violence
• The Civil Rights and
Gay Right Movement in America
• Multicultural Living
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QUOTES AND COMMENTS
FROM A NEW BOOK BY LYNN COTHREN OUT IN THE FALL '08
"So . . . how did a small-town southern boy, growing up poor in a housing project, growing up white and dyslexic and gay, find his way into Atlanta's black community and help to preserve the legacy of America's greatest champion for social justice?
How did a country bumpkin, nineteen years old and only two days in the big city of Atlanta, take an impulsive turn down Auburn Avenue to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change?
And, now that Mrs. King has left our world, how can I share with you thewonder of my twenty-three years being her special assistant and confidant, traveling the world with her as she made history combating racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, war, AIDS and so many other issues?"
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